Imperial College London

Dr David R Owen MD PhD

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Reader in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine



+44 (0)20 3313 6195d.owen Website




G20AICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





I am a clinical pharmacologist, and Head of Clinical Studies at the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility (ICRF). The ICRF hosts clinical trials and experimental medicine studies to help Imperial College researchers turn their laboratory discoveries into medicines of the future. 

My own research programme uses clinical and basic science studies to study the mitochondrial 18kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO). As a PhD student and post doc I worked on the pharmacology of TSPO as a PET imaging target, but I am currently investigating it as a drug target for CNS (neurodegeneration) and non CNS (pulmonary vascular disease) indications.

I spend the remaining ~20% of my time in clinical medicine seeing acute medical patients, leading Pharmacology teaching (with Chris John) at Imperial Medical School, directing the MRES in Clinical Research, and contributing to committees on the use of medicines. This includes chairing the North West London Integrated Formulary Committee which covers prescribing for approximately 2.6 million people, and chairing the Subregional IVIG committee covering the stewardship of this life saving but scarce resource across 6 NHS Trusts.

If you are interested in working on any of these projects, or wanting to start a new one in this field, please do get in touch.





Matthews P, 2024, A single nuclear transcriptomic characterisation of mechanisms responsible for impaired angiogenesis and blood-brain barrier function in Alzheimer’s disease, Nature Communications

Knowles S, Middleton R, Cooze B, et al., 2024, Comparing the pathology, clinical, and demographic characteristics of younger and older-onset multiple sclerosis, Annals of Neurology, Vol:95, ISSN:0364-5134, Pages:471-486

Nutma E, Fancy N, Weinert M, et al., 2023, Translocator protein is a marker of activated microglia in rodent models but not human neurodegenerative diseases, Nature Communications, Vol:14, ISSN:2041-1723, Pages:1-25

Mahmud M, Wade C, Jawad S, et al., 2023, Translocator protein PET imaging in temporal lobe epilepsy: a reliable test-retest study using laterality index, Frontiers in Neuroimaging, Vol:2, ISSN:2813-1193, Pages:1-10

Writing Committee for the REMAP-CAP Investigators, Lawler PR, Derde LPG, et al., 2023, Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker initiation on organ support–free days in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, Jama: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol:329, ISSN:0098-7484, Pages:1183-1196

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